A new debt recovery panel to help barristers get the money they are owed from professional clients has been launched today by the Bar Council, the representative body for barristers in England & Wales.
Two law firms who specialise in this area have been appointed to the new panel, with more expected to sign up. Thrings LLP and Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV) LLP are the first firms to join the panel, providing assistance to any member of the Bar seeking to recover debts from professional clients.
Announcing the new initiative today,Andrew Langdon QC, Chairman of the Bar, said: "The debt recovery panel will be an essential service for many barristers. As most of us are self-employed, income is essential to our livelihoods. Balanced against that is the need to maintain long-term commercial relationships with our professional clients. With that in mind, the law firms on the panel are adept at handling the sensitivities around debt recovery and are able to handle the recovery of fees owed to barristers delicately. We want barristers to know they can turn to this service with the confidence that their case will be handled with care.
"This is one of a number of initiatives we have taken to provide a practical service to rank-and-file members of the Bar."
The panel provides a choice of payment options, with firms working on a no win no fee basis as well as at fixed up front rates giving barristers choice, depending on their individual preference and circumstances. Some firms on the panel will offer discounts or additional services to those barristers who pay the Bar Council's Bar Representation Fee (BRF).
In 2015, the Bar Council closed its Fees Collection service following the introduction of Standard Contractual Terms in January 2013, the introduction of which was to avoid instructions being taken on non-contractual terms. Since the Bar Council can no longer assist with unpaid fees, it is providing this panel of solicitors' firms who provide debt-recovery services and come recommended by clients. The panel is not an exclusive list of those offering debt-recovery services for the Bar and the Bar Council welcomes further recommendations from barristers and chambers for further additions to the panel.
Please click here for further information on the panel.
Notes to editors
Based in Swindon, Thrings specialise in the recovery of unpaid fees for professionals. Their experience in the sector means they achieve outstanding results through a sympathetic, subtle and quality driven process. They understand the complexities of barrister's business environments and the need for a consistently professional approach. The team is supported by a full service top 100 law firm, and provides:
A senior management led team with a proven track record on recovering Barristers' fees
Bespoke recovery software programmes and processes
Correspondence and processes tailored to client needs, dovetailing with the clerks or credit control team, following consultation with the Barrister (at no charge to you)
Individual reporting processes allowing the client to retain control of the recoveries procedure, with up-to- date case information, when and how the client prefers this (at no charge to you)
Highly competitive fixed fee charges for undisputed/undefended cases, and
A discounted hourly rate and fee transparency for any defended/disputed cases.
Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV) LLP
VWV is a full service commercial and private client firm with a national reputation in key sectors. At the core of its practice, however, is a focus on the client as an individual. It operates from offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham. It is nationally recognised for its strong litigation practice and debt recovery and provides their clients with a partner led team available to guide its clients in a cost effective and expert manner. Its key assets for its services are:
Experience working closely and flexibly with in house teams and can support clients in a way which works best for them
VWV invest heavily in ensuring that they understand the legal and regulatory environment; the changes on the horizon as well as those coming in to effect now
State of the art reporting designed to assist your finance and accounting teams
Provides 24/7 support for all clients' needs and have an emergency response service, and
In support of a focussed commercial approach they can assist the client with managing fees by providing a transparent proposal which includes competitive hourly rates, attractive blended rates and to complement those with a beneficial suite of no cost value added service.
Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.
The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:
The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
Fair access to justice for all
The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board